Virtual Market 2023 Summer has concluded—the Guinness World Records-recognized event featured several interactive worlds on VRChat alongside a showcase of creativity from hundreds of companies, art circles and individuals.
This edition saw several additions, such as:
- The achievement board, which lists down 58 goals that anyone can achieve during the course of the event;
- More interactive activities in each world, such as side-quests and NPC dialogues;
- The ability to leave a note in the main portal connecting all worlds;
- and Vket Real, its first physical activity held at the Belle Salle Akihabara event venue.
With 73 brands as well as 632 circles and individual creators scattered in 16 worlds across VRChat, this year's Summer Vket has 127% more brand and creator participants compared to last year's combined total of 555. Around 64 streamers and VTubers are recognized as this edition's official streamers.
Three Parareal Worlds were set up: Akihabara, Fukuoka and Las Vegas.
- Parareal Akihabara's map is tied to the Vket Real event, where we fix the gateway connecting the virtual world to the real one. During the Vket Real weekend, the map added additional mechanics, making it a different experience compared to its opening weeks. Also, your avatar can dance to the classic Hare Hare Yukai from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
- Meanwhile, Parareal Fukuoka features the virtual Hakata Station, where you get to see what's inside Kyushu Railway Company's trains. There, your avatar can dance with the Vket mascots dressed up in the same garb as the famous JR Yosakoi Oendan.
- Parareal Las Vegas is a host to another Guinness World Record attempt for having "the most videos of avatars performing choreographed dance uploaded to Twitter in one hour," achieved by music artist Kohmi Hirose, choreographer Taiga, JVCKENWOOD Corporation and Vket organizer HIKKY, Co. Ltd. (665 videos). Aside from this, you can play mini-games and earn in-game coins which can be used only in the said world.
Vket won't be one without interactive worlds, and among all 13 worlds across multiple platforms (PC, Meta Quest and Web Browser), here are the worlds we loved the most:
- Poppin' Splash (Deep Blue): Among the three Poppin' Splash worlds, Deep Blue boasts huge booths—perfect for a virtual summer party. Other worlds such as Aquamarine and Emerald Green also have their share of unique booths for your visiting pleasure.
- Holyglade Hamlet Yapopuheto (New Leaf and Frost Termina): This is perhaps the world with the widest space among all Vket 2023 Summer worlds, as it took us some time to get back to the booths from the vast forest.
- Castello Magica Reborn (Grand Ball and Masquerade): Take time to stroll through numerous booths until you reach the ballroom where your avatar can dance. This spacious world is also home to a venue which we believe can host mini-gatherings.
- Vket Plaza -Quest Mode- (Lake Village and Volcano City): Imagine yourself in a classic role-playing game where you gather materials, fight monsters, and save the town. This basic premise is what makes it unique among all worlds.
- Cocoon Art Aquarium (Echo and Voiceless): For those who have not yet been to an underground aquarium, entering these worlds is amazing.
- Aquedust Capital Avidaar (Open Sesame and Abracadabra): Treasure is the name of the game for these worlds, where you can either go underground or fly in the sky at the end of each journey.
- Starship Orchestra (Photon and Darkmatter): If you're game for a scavenger hunt instead, this one's for you—collect items along the way and see for yourself who gets the greatest number of items at the end.
- JRA Virtual Nakayama Racecourse: As a sponsor world, a way to get in is through Parareal Akihabara—but don't take this racecourse lightly as you can ride horses and race in laps.
- The Edge of Hi-Law City (Hero and Villain Arcs): Vket mascots Vket-chan 01 and Vket-chan 02 dress up as villain and hero respectively. With cool designs, a cast of characters, and multiple story routes in each world, it's like an action-packed visual novel inside VRChat.
Virtual Market 2022 Summer marks another wild journey into the world of virtual reality. Those who are getting started with VRChat definitely need to start exploring here for a welcoming experience.
The next Vket will be the 2023 Winter edition which will open starting December 2.
Behind the Scenes
A great event will not be possible without the people operating behind it, so we reached out to HIKKY and welcomed by its global communications manager ChyadoSensei. We asked him some questions, and he shared exciting details to us as well.
Building Major VR Gameplay for Everyone to Enjoy
We've already mentioned the new additions to the Vket experience, so we asked ChyadoSensei how they feel knowing that they have built a series of worlds which also has its own mini games over time.
"The team has worked hard on ensuring that each consecutive Virtual Market experience is better and more enjoyable than the last. We have an insanely talented team of veterans within multiple industries that fit under our umbrella of making these experiences unforgettable.
"It's exciting to know that we're bringing AAA VR gameplay to the meta verse for anyone to enjoy! The feeling of knowing that our games within Vket have been played countless times is heartwarming to say the least. We will continue to create these experiences within every Vket we release."
Vket Real and its Future Plans
The physical Vket Real event was organized to celebrate 5 years since Virtual Market was launch in August 2018, and it has received lots of guests. Do we expect another physical event soon?
"Vket Real was an amazing experience that will be a core memory for all of us! This is the first time in history anyone has brought an event to both the virtual world and the real world into one location.
"We exploded past our predictions on attendees and guests! One thing we always aim to do is bring a value of shock and awe to our experiences and Vket Real is no different.
"We had multiple booths to engage with virtual worlds and people in Akihabara. Some of the biggest companies and VTubers out there share the same goals and dreams that we do in regards to making events like this possible. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for their shared image on a bright virtual market future!"
With the success of Vket Real in Akiba, will there be a chance to carry this event to other countries? "Doing something overseas would be absolutely amazing, too! That's something we definitely have discussed within our meetings."
If there's one thing that did exceed our guesses, it's the announcement that Vket will hold another one this Winter season.
"We do plan on having another Vket Real this winter! As of right now I cannot say the location, but this will be something that everyone will want to keep their eyes on!"
We also covered Vket Summer last year, here's our coverage: